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2008 Kenya Press Releases

 

  • KCB Safari Rally 2008 Itinerary
  • KCB Safari Rally Competitors Information
  • KCB Safari Rally Entry List

  • ROSE WINS MAIDEN KCB SAFARI RALLY

     

    After years of trying, Nakuru wheat farmer Lee Rose entered his name in the annals 
    of motor sports history with a maiden KCB Safari Rally diadem.
    It was such an inspiring and ecstatic win, more so, on the new Mitsubishi Evo 9
    machine he was yet to familiarize with moments after it had shipped it in from England.
    But winning a maiden Safari surpassed his previous victories of the Kenya National Rally
    Championship(KNRC) twice in succession in 2003 and 2004.
    Carl Tundo, also a wheat farmer based in Lanet, claimed second overall for the second
    year running but staunchly admitted that Rose’s drive on the new Evolution was unrivalled.
  •  

    “I am glad to claim this coveted trophy after years of trying and misfortunes. Apart from
    misfires in the early morning run, the car was in superb condition,” Rose said moments
    after driving into the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) finish ramp.

     

    Rose who learnt the ropes from riding bikes at their farm in Narok went for the jugular
    on Day two when continental frontrunner among them Muna Singh of Zambia and Riyaz
    Kurji fell by the wayside. Rose won all the seven stages in the Athi River run on Sunday
    interestingly tying with Tundo on CS 14 and Chager on CS13.
    Behind Rose was a fierce all-Kenyan battle pitting his Triton Sports teammate Baldev 
    Chager against Dalbit Petroleum’s Tundo. Chager had taken second overall on Saturday
    when Tundo suffered driveshaft problems, but his run on the final day saw him lose the
    battle to Tundo by 35 seconds.
  • Japanese Hideaki Miyoshi, despite finishing 4th overall, scored maximum points on 
    the ARC class because Rose, Tundo and Chager aren’t registered drivers on the
    continental championship. Miyoshi was out of contention for the top Safari prize after
    a 3 minutes Leg 1B penalty (for taking a shortcut at the Elementeita) nipped his plans
    in the bud.
    Second in the ARC class was Jamie Whyte of Zimbabwe (winner of Uganda rally) who’s 
    fifth overall handed him second position on the ARC. The Kenyan crew had their Safari
    campaign effectively sewn up when top ARC drivers fell by the wayside.
    Kenya’s Alfir Khan won the FIA-Pirelli Youngster Promotion after coming home 8th overall. 
    Alfir took advantage of South Africa’s VW Polo S-2000 driver Jon Williams who retired after
    leg two on Saturday before eclipsing compatriot Peter Horsey in a deadly second loop
    exchange. Horsey was 9th overall; 11 seconds from Alfir.
    The event counted towards the third round of the ARC as well as the third edition of 
    KCB Kenya National Rally Championship and the KCB East African rally Challenge.
    Kenya’s Asad Anwar of Oilibya Rally team and Muna Singh were the early casualties 
    earlier on Sunday with gearbox gremlins. Asad who teamed up George Mwangi in a
    Subaru Impreza N11 said his gearbox snapped in the first stage on their way to
    Elementaita lodge after takeoff from KICC.
    Saturday’s Leg 1B was the toughest. It saw seven drivers receive three minutes 
    penalty by lunch hour for trying to circumvent the route to a shorter course. Uganda ’s
    Riyaz Kurji prior to his exit, Muna and Miyoshi were among the seven who suffered the
    stringent shortcut measures.
  • RESULTS
    1.    Lee Rose /Piers Daykin (KEN-Mitsubishi EVO 9) 174.48minutes
    2.    CarlTundo/TimJessop (KEN-Subaru N10) 175.59
    3.    Baldev Chager/Farakh Yusuf (KEN-Subaru N12)  176.34
    4.    Hideaki Miyoshi (JAPAN-Mitsubishi Evo 9)   182.36
    5.    James Whyte/Philip Archenoul (ZIM-Subaru N10)   190.50
    6.    Azar Anwar/Imran Khan (KEN-Mitsubishi EVO 6)  190.53
    7.    Don Smith/Sonal Smith (KEN-Subaru N10)    191.03
    8.    Alfir Khan / Tinu Khan (KEN-Subaru N10)   192.08
    9.    Peter Horsey/Timothy Challen (KEN-EVO 8)  192.19
    10.   John Rose/Mike Borrissow (KEN-EVO 9)      194.18

     

     

    Rosy drive for Nakuru farmer Rose at Elementaita
    Nakuru farmer Lee Rose on his first outing in the state-of-the-art Mitsubishi
    Evolution 9  served up great moments ahead as he grabbed the overnight lead with
    much vim and vigor. 
    Rose led his Triton Sports teammate Baldev Chager to a rare 1-2 rivalry after three
    stages were repeated twice to complete the day two action at lake Elementeita Lodge.
    Rose’s rosy drive placed him well ahead of the pack as the cars regrouped at
    Elementeita to encounter a 124Km liaison distance through to Nairobi. The cars had
    an overnight perc ferme at KICC yesterday as crews pondered over tackling the final
    Leg 2 in  Athi River today. 
    Drivers had to contend with rough, hot and dusty terrain typical of the Rift Valley
    volcanic ash soil. Carl Tundo who managed third overall after observed that the
    black cotton soil at Athi River would favor the Evolution Mitsubishi. "But I will go
    flat out and won't relent on my charge," said Tundo, the reigning Kenyan Champion.
    One of Kenya’s fastest drivers, Asad Anwar of Oilibya Team bowed out with mechanical
    gremlins. Asad navigated by George Mwangi in a Subaru Impreza N11 had his gearbox
    snap in the first stage on their way to Elementaita lodge after take off from KICC
    for Leg One B yesterday morning. TWO-time African Champion Muna Singh became the
    first causalities of leg 1B. Other casualties were Jon Williams of South Africa who
    broke driveshaft of the VW Polo and Sushil Gohil who’s Impreze rolled nine times.
    With Willaims out, Kenya's Alfir Khan took over the Under-27 FIA_Pirelli drivers'
    Promotion lead.
    “Everything was going on well but because of mechanical problem we were forced out,”
    said Asad who shared the overnight leadership after the flag off of the tree-day
    event on Friday afternoon with Japanese Hideaki Miyoshi.
     “We were doing well. Everything was going on well then it just happened. One of
    those bad things that just happens when things are fine,” he said.
    It was a tough day that also saw seven drivers handed a 3 minutes penalty by 1 PM
    yesterday for trying to circumvent the route to a shorter course. 
    Uganda’s Riyaz Kurji in Subaru Impreza N10 and ARC former champion, Muna and Miyoshi
    got three minutes apiece. Miyoshi, however, recorded the fastest time in competitive
    section four with 3 minutes and eight seconds to finish the leg in 5th.
    After this section it was fast paced Mitsubishi Evo 9, Rose led 54.18 minutes into
    first service followed by compatriots Chager ‘Boldy’ with 54.29 and Carl ‘Flash’
    Tundo with 54.52. South African Lola Verlaque was on hot on Tundo’s heels with
    111.54.
     Miysoshi was up in arms over the 3minute shortcut penalty. “I will definitely place
    a protest tonight,” he said.  
    Uganda's Emma Katto and his partner Moses Matovu in a high-tech Subaru N14 were
    still dogged by infocom problems thus losing boost on the opening three sections of
    the day. With the said drivers having to contend with stringent measures on
    shortcuts, Rose enjoyed a clean run beating his Triton Sports teammate with an
    11second margin as cars regrouped at Elemetaita to encounter the second loop. Tundo
    had his run impeded by a broken driveshaft but soldiered on to service. 
    RESULTS TOP 10 RESULTS LEG 1B 
     1. Lee Rose      (Mitsubishi EVO9)         107.52minutes
     2. Baldev chager (Subaru N12)               107.56
    3.. Carl Tundo              (Subaru N10)       108.26
     4.  Lola Verlaque      (Mitsubishi EVO9)    111.54
     5. Hideaki Miyoshi(Mitsubishi EVO 9)     112.12
    6. Jamie Whyte        (Subaru N10)          112.19
     7. Don Smith (Subaru N12)                    117.53
    8. Peter Horsey(Mitsubishi EVO 8)            118:03
    9. Emmanuel Katto (Subaru N14)            119.16
    10. Alfir Khan (Subaru N10)                    119.20
     
    Ugandan rivalry to spice-up KCB Safari Rally 

     

    The
    rivalry between Ugandan speed merchants Emanuel Katto and Riyaz Kurji is set to
    explode in Elementaita tomorrow. Kurji and Katto were the frontrunners at the
    KCB Pearl of Africa Rally in Kampala
    last April prior to their extricating exit and have not ruled out their flat-out
    antics at the Safari.

     

    Katto
    has predicted a tough rally as he takes his wonder Subaru Impreza N14-the latest
    version to grace Kenyan terrain- to Elementaita near Nakuru for a 177 kilometers
    of competitive mileage.

     

    Katto
    is optimistic of recording an impressive performance to boost his chances of
    bouncing back for ARC title chase.

     

    “My
    only worry is the rear suspension of my new machine which is typical of
    European conditions. I am however happy that I managed to make some slight
    modifications to march African conditions,” Katto said.

     

    Asked
    whether he anticipated stiff challenge from foreign drivers including ARC title
    holder, Muna Singh of Zambia
    and Japanese Hideaki Miyoshi, Katto said he was only worried about Kenyan
    drivers whom he said were very fast and well versed with local terrain.

     

     He
    singled out Lee Rose, Baldev Changer and Carl Tundo as the Kenyan drivers to beat.
    Kurji said nothing shot of victory. 

     

    He
    said he will risk his machine by going for an all attacking race to make the
    final day tomorrow a mere formality since the Athi River
    plains is mince meat for him.

     

    “It
    is only today (Saturday) that one can record the best times, thus the need to
    push the machine at a terrific speed,” Kurji said before he took the spectator
    stage.

     

    Kurji
    is arguably the fastest rally driver in Africa
    today. He beat everyone hands down in the 2008 KCB Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally
    before bowing out with engine failure.

     

     
    59 drivers cleared for 2008 KCB Safari Rally

     

    A total of 56 drivers
    have been cleared to participate in the 56th 2008 KCB Safari Rally in
    the wake of two-day rigorous scutineering exercise at Nairobi’s Kenyatta
    International Conference
    Centre (KICC). 

     

    FIA Delegate and Chief
    scrutineer  Viren Goricha said majority
    of drivers had satisfied his team after meticulous  mandatory checks.

     

     According to the official start list released
    by FIA Stewards; this year’s event will feature 59 drivers competing in three
    categories. The FIA-African Rally Championship (ARC) class has attracted 37
    drivers led by two-time continental champion Muna Singh from Zambia.
    Legendary Ian Duncan who won the Safari in a works team Toyota as a round of the WRC
    in 1994 is seeded
    first in the supplementary class that has attracted 13 cars. The 2WD category
    has nine entrants including reigning champion Jasmeet Chana and his cousin Deep
    Chana who is back after staying out for two years. There has been some good
    humored rivalry as the two cousins bantered over who will come out first.

     

    One of the most
    interesting features at the scritineering team is the emergence of high-tech
    cars making way into the continent. Two time Kenyan champion Lee Rose is on his
    first outing on the Evolution 9 after handing his father John Rose a drive on
    his old Evolution 8. Emmanuel Katto has flown in mechanics from the Tommi
    Makinnen Racing to come and reinforce the settings of his Subaru N14 to master
    the Kenyan terrain. Katto’s N14 is the latest model to ever grace the East Africa
    soil.  South Africa’s
    Jon Williams is the only competitor using the S-2000 formula with his elegant
    VW Polo. The ARC class has attracted nine foreigners. They are Muna Singh from
    Zambia, Japanese Hideaki Miyoshi, Jas Mangat from
    Uganda, Riyaz Kurji and
    Emmanuel Katto also from Uganda.
    Others are Zimbabwean James Whyte who won the KCB Pearl of Africa Rally in
    Kampala last April, South African “Rally Chicks” Lola and Megan Verlaque,
    Navraj Hans, Olivier Coasta from Rwanda and Valery Bukera from Burundi. Apart
    from local dr9ivers chasing the KCB Kenya National rally Championship points,
    the KCB Safari Rally is the climax of the three rounds of the newly established
    KCB East African Rally Challenge (EARC) and the second round of the FIA-Pirelli
    Youngster Promotion that started in Kampala in April. 

     

    Four drivers will be
    eligible to score points towards the Pirelli showdown. They are Williams of South
    Africa,
    Hans, Kenyans Alfir Khan and Peter Horsey.

     

     

  • Miyoshi plots to finish KCB Safari Rally
  • on a high
    By Samson Ateka - Press Release No.6 - 18th June 2008 
  • Japanese driver Hideaki Miyoshi is at pains to claim a maiden KCB Safari Rally diadem in his bid to enhance his FIA-African Rally Championship (ARC) prospects. Miyoshi who is teaming up with Tien Suspensions Executive, Hakaru Ichino, in a Mitsubishi EVO 9 has been acclimatizing in Kenya since participating in the 2008 KCB Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally in Kampala last April.
    The soft-spoken driver has taken some time out to sample Kenya’s serene hospitality sites, more so, the world’s famous Masai Mara and Amboseli as he plots to eclipse the big African field in Nairobi between June 27 and 29.
    And even as the battle for supremacy tends to get menacing; threatening to go down to the wire, Miyoshi refuses to be rattled. “I am going for an outright win in the (KCB) Safari because I want to seal the championship this year,” said the former 1995WRC Safari Rally Group N Champion. Miyoshi finished fourth overall in the 2007 KCB Safari Rally behind Conrad Rautenbach of Zimbabwe, Kenya’s Carl Tundo and Fiat Grande Punto’s Andrea Navarra.
    “Safari is quite a significant outing in terms of Championship points and is something any driver would savor for a long time should they lay hands on the coveted title. But I’m bracing up for a big fight with leader Muna Singh because Jas Mangat is way behind on eight points though firmly on my back,” Miyoshi said.
    The Japanese speedster has tipped reigning Kenya champion Carl Tundo and double KNRC winner Lee Rose as the hottest prospects for this year’s KCB Safari Rally.
    “They (Tundo and Rose) drive sensibly fast unlike Ugandans Riyaz Kurji and Emma Katto. The two Kenyans will also enjoy local knowledge of the route and it will be quite a fight against them,” said Miyisho. Tundo and Rose are however not registered for the FIA regional series and as such won’t score points towards the ARC. Kenya only has five drivers namely- Azar Anwar, his brother Asad Anwar, Peter Horsey, Alfir Khan and Don Smith.
    Miyoshi hasn’t had quite a good season in the 2008 FIA ARC after finishing eighth at the Alliance/Kobil/KCB Rally of Tanzania before forfeiting his overnight lead at the eleventh hour to settle for second overall at the 2008 KCB Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally in April. He intends to carry out a performance test-drive around Ngong Hills area in due course once their mechanics arrived from Japan to fine-tune the car to local settings.
    Miyoshi’s Rally of Tanzania experience is one thing he would want to forget in a hurry.  “Tanzania wasn’t favorable. Our rally car was stuck at Mombasa port and we had to resort to a borrowed Mitsubishi Lancer rally car and struggled with poor suspension to finish 8th overall. I was happy though that we managed to salvage three championship points there for our effort in nursing the car to the finish,” Miyoshi recalled of his woes. The Japanese driver has had a feel of the ARC series last year and is here to complete the remaining ARC rounds-KCB Safari Rally in Kenya, the Dunlop Zimbabwe Challenge (August 22-24) and the Zambia International Rally programmed for September 12-14.
    FIA-ARC STANDINGS AFTER UGANDA
    1. Muna Singh (Zambia)             16
    2. James Whyte (Zim)                15
    3 Hideaki Miyoshi (Japan)           11
    4. Jas Mangat (Uganda)             8 
    5.  Lola Verlaque (S. Africa)        6 
    6.  Jon Willams (S. Africa)          5

    NAVIGATOR JESSOP OPTIMISTIC IN KCB SAFARI RALLY FERVOR
    By Samson Ateka - 16th June 2008 - Press Release No. 5
  • Although the fierce ‘pace-notes’ battle appears to go unnoticed, defending KCB KNRC navigator champion Tim Jessop envisages another successful year and probably a hat-trick if all goes well in the 2008KCB Safari Rally on June 27-29.
    Jessop won the KCB KNRC navigators’ diadem in 2005 when his driver Carl “Flash” Tundo came home second. There has been a fierce battle of fuel coporates between Lee Rose’s navigator Piers Dakin (Triton Sports), Baldev Chager’s partner Farakh Yusuf (Triton Sports) and Jessop (Dalbit Petroleum).
    Jessop and Daykin are jointly place first in the series with 130 points and the KCB Safari is what should shape the battle. The equation is however bound to change with Oilibya's Asad Anwar  coming on with George Mwangi . Asad's navigator Frank Gitau will sit with Navraj Hans of Tanzania.
    Jessop believes his relationship with Tundo will once again do wonders.  “We get on really well; he (Tundo) is my Daughters’ God father so we see a lot of each other outside of rallying. We have a lot of fun in the rally car and even during stages, we always have a good laugh and this should be a motivating factor,” said Jessop.   
    But asked of his prediction of the 2008 KCB KNRC Navigators’ title, Jessop quips:  “I will retain it.”
    Jessop is spurred-on by last year’s performance when both him and Tundo won the KCB KNRC titles after being the top placed locals in the 2007 KCB Safari Rally behind eventual winner Zimbabwean Conrad Rautenbach.
    Jessop has all along been very loyal to Tundo and has never sat with any other driver. His worst ever memory was during the Coast Rally, which they were leading, “and I dropped my stopwatch which then jumped 4 minutes, which meant we checked into the control 4 minutes early and we dropped to 4th.”
    Vivid memories for the Mombasa born Jessop was when his Dad used to take him along when the late Johnny Hellier and Dave Williamson used to test the Lancia 037 behind Nguu Tatu in Bamburi .
    “I will always remember the bright red flash of the car and its roof mounted tyre flying over the many brows there,” Jessop remembers with nostalgia.
    Jessop’s Dad worked with AVA and ran the rallying section that prepared and serviced the rally cars for multiple Kenya champion  Ian Duncan, Johnny Hellier , Africa Champion David Horsey-so he grew up around a rallying atmosphere.
    Jessop’s first drive was with "Flash" when they, borrowed Rob Hellier’s Datsun 160J in a Mombasa event in early 2000.
    “We couldn't decide who was going to drive so we changed half way round. We finished 19th,” Jessop, the Deputy General Manager for Hughes Motors, a division of CMC Motors in Kenya, said.
    “Tundo and I used to service for Rob Hellier and Dez Page-Morris, so we used to go out on recce with them. When ‘Flash’ bought his own car we used to recce with Rob and Dez, so I suppose it was a combination of Rob and Des who taught me.

    CHAGER TARGETS MAIDEN KCB SAFARI RALLY WIN
    Do you think you have now come off age as far as speed and skill are concerned?
    By Samson Ateka - 4th June 2008 - Press Release No. 4
    In the past Safari rallies, we have done (apart from the WRC one in 98), we have always tried to be as fast and consistent in our times.
    When we led the Safari 2 years ago in our hatchback Impreza, international drivers were shocked and even wanted to protest from what I hear. Eventually we had a radiator problem and Azar took the lead and maintained it to the end. The pace is very fast nowadays and we believe we can keep it among the top boys local and international.
    Last year we had teething problems with the new N12 we drove on day one but we fought back gallantly on day 2 to recover a few positions and get 2nd in the KNRC points,
    This year the field will be tough and we look forward to international competition as it always makes you realize where you can place yourself if ever we go to do international or African continent events.
    I have been in this game for 15 years now and if we can’t get good results at this age and with the machine we have it will be embarrassing to us and the whole crew that stands by us.
    How has it been like keeping up with the pace upfront?
    We came very close to winning our first ever Safari 2 years ago and this was through good preparation hard work from the team and the will to go flat out.
    We have also led the KCB KNRC a few times in standings and bad luck played its part to evade the championship. We are still determined to win the championship and work towards this goal harder every year and I must say it does not get easier. Other drivers are quick and stages short and the new machines embracing the scene are also some of the best money can buy. A few years ago a good strong car and good backup with decent pace could get you the championship quite easily. But not any more; as the top drivers are now seasoned and aggressive always fighting it out to the seconds.
    What changes will you make to the car prior to the upcoming 2008 KCB Safari Rally?
  • For the Safari petty mistakes in all terms can cost you a lot from preparation to making notes on recce etc.
    We are doing an extensive check up and making sure all small items that can be a cause of a problem are attended to. The car has performed well in the first 2 rallies this year and we will be making very minor changes and concentrating more on making the car reliable. The only major set up change we will do is adjusting the rear shock absorbers to get even better performance out of them. As time goes by we are getting better with the N12 and adjusting it very slightly every event. Major adjustments and modifications can end up in disaster if not tested well so we believe in doing small adjustments at a time. We don’t have the resources and time like works teams to go out everyday and try new parts or settings. In safari you need a very well prepared car and this put with good driving and team work will get you the results for sure.
    Are you scared of high-tech cars some foreigners will be driving in the KCB Safari Rally?
    Kenya can boast of having a few hi-tech cars but it seems our fellow neighbors from the continent seem to be a step up always.
  • The problem with new cars is they always have teething problems and as mentioned before.
    Hi tech cars also need hi tech drivers to be honest. It’s a combination of both that produce results.
    Jon Williams from South Africa has a very modern VW Polo S-2000 but he lacks the experience. This experience will come only with age and a lot of time testing and driving. It will be a very welcome treat to see this polo in Kenya as this falls into the same category as the works fiat cars we saw last year. (Emmanuel) Katto also has been a driver with the latest cars always. But it seems he has lost a bit of his flare recently perhaps its due to the time he spent off rallying. Also during that period other drivers sharpened their skills a lot and invested in new machines. The Group N machines which we are all now driving seem to be very similar in performance so the top guns who could afford WRC spec cars with backup who always had the upper hand are now in the same league in Group N categories. Here they seem to be on even playing grounds and the game if different. Driver skill is very important here. Katto will have to really prove himself in Kenya to gain the former respect he had.
    There are other new kids on the block who also want to prove themselves and make a name in the books. Locally we have Alfir Khan trying hard to win the Pirelli scholarship, we have Jas Mangat from Uganda also proving a point in the last 2 arc events and having all these boys during safari will be a welcome treat for everybody. You can see how much motor rallying is picking up in Kenya and the neighboring countries with the number of new youngsters in the sport now.
    Can the state-of-the-art cars master the Safari terrain?
    The new cars if prepared and tested well always perform in safari. The biggest issue with safari is always the suspension system and tyres that don’t puncture. If the new cars can have these two issues sorted out then it is not a problem for them. Then the rest falls onto the drivers’ performance.
    KCB Safari will embrace new technology with new timing and tracking systems? What’s your comment on the initiative?
    A new timing system will be welcomed by all competitors. If this new timing system is reliable we can have good clean times and unfair cheating from drivers and controllers can be tracked. If somebody is found guilty the necessary action must be taken also to ensure it does not happen again and discipline/respect maintained.
    What does Safari success entail?
    Safari, entails skill, endurance and good preps. expensive cars perhaps may not be the answer bur reliable fast and strong cars are more proven in safari. Endurance to a small limit plays a part but the short stages these days do not allow so much endurance but a balance of speed and endurance together. Skill is the most vital point in safari; this skill comes only with time and good coaching from the guys who know the game. You could have an underpowered car but the skill only can make you perform much better than the other cars you are competing against. Our local boys have skill for local terrain just as much as foreigners have in their own country. It’s always a plus point having local knowledge in every aspect in motorsports. Kenyans are also very lucky to have a good motorsports body that hold regular events all over the country and those who drive regularly get the practice and experience.

  • KCB Safari Rally set to embrace new timing

  • and tracking technology

    By Samson Ateka - 3rd June 2008 - Press Release No. 3
    Cheating and timing inaccuracy will soon be a thing of the past on the local motor sports arena, officials have said.
    In what is being envisaged to be a milestone for the ‘man and machine’ game, Kenya Motor Sports Foundation (KMSF) will introduce a sophisticated timing and tracking system to be applicable during the 2008 KCB Safari Rally on June 27-28.
    Surinder Thatthi, the KCB Safari Rally Organizing Committee Chairman said the tracking system-provided by co-sponsors Security Group- will be tested in due course in the run up to the Kenyan round of the African rally Championship (ARC).
    Thatthi said the tracking system is a major boost to organizers “in the sense that it enables rally headquarters monitor proceedings of all cars on the ground, and by extension, cub any malpractice.”
    In the past organizers have had to resort to ‘judges of fact’ to keep track of wrongdoers. The tracking systems will also enhance to a number of safety issues because the Rally HQ is able to act forthwith.
    KMSF General Manager, Achie Khan sung praise of the new equipment. “No driver can actually take a shortcut because the gadgets can monitor cars to the nearest five meters. We are excited by its efficiency and reliability,” Achie said.
    KMSF has also acquired a Sh. 0.52million modem- enabled timing system somewhat similar to that applicable in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). The system has a data link similar to that of the WRC and transmits data through a modem.
    But unlike the WRC timing system which is entirely GPRS, the modem format -which KMSF has investedon-is applicable on both manual and digital basis. The manual aspect is purely a backup just incase the systems fails. Thatthi said it was impossible to go the WRC timing way because the gadgets are affected by dust and the many other conditions on African terrains. The timing system was first used in Kenyan during the KQ E.A. Safari Classic Rally last year.
    Surinder expounds on its intricacies: “It’s very difficult to tamper with the timing system as it relays data directly to the Rally HQs. Officials of the rally can keep abreast of the proceedings accordingly,” said Surinder.
    The new system replaces archaic clocks as well as flying-finish flagging down method as controllers will now have switch gadgets as soon as cars leave or gets to the time control.  But the radio system will be retained to enhance communication and safety. “Timing is everything. It will be critical to the success of the events locally,” Khan said.

    Foreigners savor 2008 KCB Safari Rally allure

    as close of entries nears
    By Samson Ateka - 3rd June 2008 - Press Release No. 2
    Excitement has gripped the cream of Africa’s best just a few weeks before entries close for the June 27-29 KCB Safari Rally.
  • Surinder Thatthi, the Organizing Committee Chairman said over 10 foreigners are expected “and no late entries will be allowed at the close of deadline on June 17.”
    ”Local drivers have had a tendency of placing entries at the eleventh hour but late entries will not be allowed after the close of deadline,” said Thatthi. Elsewhere, foreign drivers are counting the days to their KCB Safari Rally participation with great expectation.
    South Africa’s VW Polo S-2000 driver Jon Williams and his colleague Pierre Arries just can’t wait to make their Safari debut. Williams is no slough at the game of rallying after being the overnight leader upon clinching the 7 Km Lubiru Stadium super-stage at the KCB Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally in April.
    “Safari is always a rally you will savor for the rest of your life owing to the sentimental significance attached to it. I had to back off in Kampala on day two because I wasn’t anticipating such rough and narrow roads. Spectators turnout was however excellent. I have never seen this magnitude of spectators before. I have now strengthened the car to endure the rough nature of the East African terrain and safari is no exception,” said Williams. Other than trying to fill the void left behind by former WRC Zimbabwean Conrad Rautenbach (now a WRC driver), the 25yearold Cape Town based driver will also be hoping to cement his top position on the under-27 FIA/Pirelli “Young Drivers Promotion.” Williams leads the Pirelli competition with 10 points followed by Kenyans Alfir Khan (8pts) and Peter Horsey (6pts).
    Williams’ S-2000 will be the third to grace Kenyan soil after the two Fiat Grande Puntos driven by Italy’s Fiat Abarth works team of Andrea Navara and Umberto Scandola during last year’s Safari when the KCB Safari Rally counted towards the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC).
    Ugandan speed merchants Emmanuel Katto (of EMKA Rally) and Riyaz Kurji are the foreign drivers to beat. Katto unveiled his state-of-the-art Subaru Impreza N14 which bowed out of the KCB Pearl of Africa Rally after a fierce exchange with compatriot Kurji. This are the drivers Kenyans wouldn’t want to engage in a final shootout. Zimbabwean oldies-Jamie Whyte (48years) and Phil Archenoul are at pains to attest that their victory in Kampala was no fluke. Harare based Whyte is a seven time Zimbabwean rally champion having rallying for a duration spanning over two decades. Japanese speedster Hideaki Miyoshi is back in the Safari navigated by Tiens suspensions executive Hakaru Ichino. They have entered the Mitsubishi Evolution 9 they used in Kampala. ARC leader and two-time African Champion Muna Singh of Zambia teams up with compatriot David Sihoka in a Sunvic-sponsored Impreza. Other foreigners are Ugandan Jas Mangat, Navraj Hans of Hans Racing, Tanzania. Mangat was lying 4th on his Pearl of Africa home event but was disqualified on the last day due to outside assistance while Hans kissed the Kampala event goodbye with a blown turbocharger. Both Mangat and Hans will be navigated by Kenyans Kashif Sheikh and Frank Gitau.

    KCB Safari Rally goes back to

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  • Athi River and Elementaita

    By Samson Ateka - 30th May 2008 - Press Release No. 1
    Hair-raising thrills await the 2008 KCB Safari Rally slated for June 27-29 in Nairobi , Athi River and Delamere estates.
    Surinder Thatthi, Chairman of the organizing Committee, said a 0.94Km super stage at Uhuru Park procession way has been designed with safety and spectators in mind on June 27.
    The Kenya’s glamor event, renowned as the ‘world’s toughest rally’ counts the third round of the FIA African Rally Championship (ARC), the newly established FIA/Pirelli Young Drivers Promotion, the KCB Kenya National Rally Championship and the KCB East African Rally Challenge (EARC).
    The KCB Safari was initially scheduled for March as a round of the 2008 Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) but was dropped from the second tier World Series in the wake of the post election skirmishes that left the entire operations in the country in tatters. Thatthi said the future for the Safari was still bright “as it is set to return to the IRC calendar in 2009.”
     Last year the KCB Safari Rally opened the all-new IRC series and welcomed the first official works team-Fiat Abarth- who returned to Kenya after Safari Rally was dropped from the World Rally Championship (WRC) in October 2008. Plans for this year’s event are at an advanced stage.
    To allow spectators catch hair-raising action at Uhuru Park’s procession away, after the Kenytatta International Conference Centre (KICC) 3pm flag-off (on June 27), cars head straight to a holding point at Railway Club before taking to their stage runs in reverse direction. There will be a 20minutes service at Railway Club and onward to the overnight KICC Parc ferme. The Safari covers a total distance of 668Km with a competitive mileage of 2964Km.
    Leg 1B (on June 28) takes crews to a grueling 124Km liaison distance through to the expansive Delamare estates where an 88.77Km three- stage loop will be repeated to make up a cumulative total of 178.38Km.
    The three stage are Soysambu-Elementeita (47.76Km), Start Gallop-Lake West End (36.80Km) and Start Lake East End –Elementeita Lodge (4.16Km) that provides a scenic designated spectator point near the famous Lodge monument.
    “The route is more or less the same as last year but have resorted to longer stages on Delamere by combining the some stages together. It is somewhat smother than the KCB Perl of Africa Rally but there are also some rough stretches,” said Thatthi. Thatthi said Leg 2 has a slight change following the removal of Machakos-Mathatani and Lukenya stages. There will be a new stage at Portland quarry farm near the Green Park . The East Africa Portland Cement is currently grading the course on Leg 2 and trying to level the service area.
     At the Delamere Farm, Soysambu Conservancy have come on board as co-sponsors to help repair damaged parts of the course. “We decided not to grade Leg 1B because we had difficulties in containing thick dust given the nature of the volcanic ash soil on that part of the Rift Valley,” Thatthi said.  
    Thatthi said 2WD cars will not be required to tackle Leg 1B after their run on Leg 1A at Uhuru Park . They (2WD) will instead remain on the perc ferme till Sunday, June 29 where they will accompany the rest of the cars for the East Africa Portland Cement Leg. East Africa Portland Cement, who have donated land for Leg 2 on June 29 are official  co-sponsors for the Safari. Other co-sponsors include internet service providers, I-Way Africa, host hotel Grand Regency Hotel, KICC who provide the rally headquarters and start and finish venue, Triton Petroleum, Soysambu Conservancy and Security Group.
    Security Group will facilitate a state-of-the-art tracking system for the rally cars using the GPS Unit that will be fit on all the cars. This will assist the headquarters keep track of cars on the stages.  Thatthi said the GPS Unit monitoring system has been applicable at Middle East Rallies.

 
 
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